Lionel Messi moves into top 10 of international goalscorers

He also became Argentina’s most-capped player with 148 appearances

 Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Bolivia during the Copa America in Brazil. File photograph: Getty Images

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Bolivia during the Copa America in Brazil. File photograph: Getty Images

 

Lionel Messi scored twice in Argentina’s Copa America win over Bolivia to move into the top 10 of men’s international goalscorers.

The 34-year-old’s achievement follows that of his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo who matched Ali Daei’s all-time record last week, scoring five in Portugal’s Euro 2020 campaign.

Messi’s historic goal came in trademark fashion, a delicious 20-yard left-footed lob from Sergio Aguero’s lofted through-ball.

He had earlier netted a penalty, meaning his second goal of the game was his 75th in international football, moving him into a four-way tie for ninth place on the list — alongside Hungary great Sandor Kocsis, Japan’s Kunishige Kamamoto and Bashar Abdullah of Kuwait.

Messi has played more games than any of that trio — indeed, the goal was his second statistical achievement of the evening as he also became Argentina’s most-capped player with 148 appearances.

He has a way to go to catch Ronaldo, who has 109 goals and counting to tie the record set by former Iran striker Daei.

The pair are 20 clear of ex-Malaysia striker Mohamed Mokhtar Dahari, with Ferenc Puskas — a long-time colleague of Kocsis in the ‘Magical Magyars’ team of the 1950s — fourth on 84 goals.

Godfrey Chitalu scored 79 for Zambia and Hussain Saeed Mohammed 78 for Iraq, leaving the pair just ahead of Brazil great Pele.

Current United Arab Emirates striker Ali Mabhkout has 76, edging him ahead of Kocsis, Kamamoto, Abdullah and Messi.

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